Our network

Woman Sues Georgetown Hospital Over Transplant That Never Happened | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Woman Sues Georgetown Hospital Over Transplant That Never Happened

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) A woman who was waiting for liver transplant at Georgetown Hospital never got the chance because the hospital apparently couldn't reach her.

Even though the women was a patient at Georgetown at that time.

This is all according to her sister, Dorothy Roy, who is now suing Georgetown University Hospital for medical negligence.

"This is one year from the day she died," Dorothy Roy said as she held a picture of her beloved sister Donna Roy who died Thanksgiving day 2008. She was 59. She had non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and had been on the transplant list at Georgetown University Hospital.

"She was desperate for a liver," said Roy.

In November of 2008, a liver match was apparently found, and a Georgetown employee tried to reach Donna at her Alexandria home... twice.

Message number 13 on the answering machine: "Hello this is Martha calling from Georgetown transplant. I'm calling to offer you a liver. A liver offer..."

That would've been great news... except Donna didn't get it because she was a patient at Georgetown at that time. And Dorothy found the messages on her sister's answering machine too late.

Roy said, "I returned Martha's call and she said, 'Oh no! Someone else got the liver!'"

Dorothy says she spent every night at the hospital with her sister.

"It's just unreal. She had been seeing dozens of doctors at Georgetown. Everyone knew she was at Georgetown. How could they have called her at home?"

"I was the emergency point of contact. They had my cell phone and my home number. They did not call."

Georgetown Hospital declined to comment on the case because it's in litigation. I did call the number Martha left and confirmed it reaches the on-call coordinator for the Georgetown Transplant Institute.

Dorothy hopes someone who needed the liver more than her sister got the liver... but says she's never been given any answers.

"I want to know why Donna didn't get the liver and what happen to it."

The United Network for Organ Sharing manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. A computer system is used to match organs to patients. Before a match is approved, the patient's physician has to OK it. It's not know if Donna Roy was the first on the list for this liver, but a UNOS spokesperson says generally a patient would not be called about a match unless that person was first on the list.

A Georgetown spokesperson said late this afternoon that it's too early to comment on the case because they were just served the lawsuit yesterday.

Roy is seeking $5 million dollars from Georgetown. She says she mostly wants the hospital to change is procedures so another person doesn't go through this. Roy says if she gets any money, she'll send it to Haiti, because that's what here sister would do.

Written by Peggy Fox
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com